A conservative mothers' group has accused Burger King of “crossing the line” by airing an advert with the word “damn” in it to promote its non-meat product.
Activists from One Million Moms, an American group that aims to pressure media companies, have called on the fast-food chain to remove the advert or edit out what they call “the d-word”.
In the Burger King advert, which was posted online in August, customers are asked to taste-test a vegan version of the chain’s signature Whopper.
The advert drew the conservative group’s ire after one customer, who had just taken a bite out of the burger, said “damn, that’s good”.
The conservative group said the comment made Burger King’s commercial “irresponsible and tasteless”.
“The language in the commercial is offensive, and it’s sad that this once family restaurant has made yet another deliberate decision to produce a controversial advertisement instead of a wholesome one,” the group wrote on its website.
“It is extremely destructive and damaging to impressionable children viewing the commercial.
“We all know children repeat what they hear.”
Burger King has been approached for comment on the criticism.
One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association, a non-profit evangelical Christian group that has been described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre for its campaigns against LGBT rights.
The mothers' group has launched a number of campaigns against LGBT+ representation in the media, including a successful attempt to force the Hallmark Channel to pull an advert that featured same-sex couples last month.
After a backlash against Hallmark for removing the advert, it was reinstated and the company admitted it had made the “wrong decision”.
Another recent One Million Moms campaign criticised the bookseller Barnes & Noble for stocking a book about a pig with a clear resemblance to Donald Trump who becomes the president.
About 9,000 people have signed a petition so far calling for Burger King to cancel or edit its commercial.
The supposed controversy is also not the first time the fast-food chain has gotten into trouble over its meatless Whopper.
In November, a vegan customer sued the chain for allegedly cooking its meat-free product on the same grills as the meat version.
The man has said Burger King did not warn him about the cooking process and added that he is taking the chain to court on behalf of all vegans and vegetarians who have eaten the product.